Biotin

Posted on Dec. 30, 2005, 8:01 p.m. in Co-Vitamins & Co-Factors

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that works synergistically with the B-vitamins. It can be found in yeast, liver, organ meats, egg yolk, grains, nuts, cauliflower, peas, beans, and fish. The majority of people obtain adequate amounts of biotin from their diet, however individuals with a genetic deficiency of the enzyme biotinidase (needed by the body to utilize biotin), intestinal malabsorption, and an inability to absorb biotin as a result of surgical removal of the stomach require supplementary biotin. People taking antibiotics or sulphonamide anti-bacterial drugs may also derive benefit from taking biotin supplements. Biotin deficiency may lead to hair loss, dermatitis, high blood cholesterol levels, and heart problems.

ROLE FOR ANTI-AGING:

Biotin is one of the B vitamins required for the formation of glucose and fatty acids, and for the metabolism of amino acids and carbohydrates. Biotin is needed to maintain healthy hair, nails, skin, sweat glands, nerves, bone marrow, and normal bone growth. It may help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS, or crib death).

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS:

Scaly dermatitis, inflamed sore tongue, loss of appetite, nausea, depression, muscle pain, sitophobia (morbid dread of food), pallor, anemia, abnormalities of heart function, burning or prickling sensations, sensitive skin, insomnia, extreme lassitude, increased cholesterol, depression of immune system.

THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:

50-200mcg (micrograms) combined with Bcomplex. No RDA has been established in the US, therefore daily dosages of 30 to 100 micrograms (mcg) are recommended. In the European Union, (EU) the RDA for biotin is 0.15mcg.

MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL:

2.5mg (long and short term).

SIDE EFFECTS/CONTRAINDICATIONS:

Diabetics should consult their doctor before taking very high doses of biotin (upwards of 8 mg daily). Unless advised to do so by a doctor, biotin should not be taken in combination with the anticonvulsant drugs gabapentin, phenobarbital, and valproic Acid.

SOLUBILITY: Water soluble

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